I am on a long and exciting journey to become a lawyer and hope that I can inspire you to be part of it.
Since graduating as top of my class from a London University, I studied towards a Master degree in Public International Law at the University of Amsterdam. During that time I focussed a lot on international and European human rights law as well as international criminal law. I became most interested in protecting victims of human trafficking, some of the most vulnerable members of society, through human rights conventions and defending the right to a fair trial.
After finishing my studies, came back to London, the city of my dreams and have undertaken a whole lot of paid and unpaid work experience. The result of this is my undying dedication to human rights, public law, criminal law and immigration. In September 2017, I will be undertaking the Bar Professional Training Course and am adamant to dedicate my practice to those areas. I find these areas of the law so interesting and important as they put the individual in the forefront of court processes and really allow the state and its agents to be held to account where necessary. At the end of the day, I truly believe that the courts, us lawyers and judges are here to serve the community, to give a voice to victims, to defend accused persons and to give each person the opportunity of legal participation.
As part of my dedication to international criminal justice, I have applied and have been accepted to undertake a five month internship with United Nations Assistance to Khmer Rouge Tribunals. I think this will be an enlightening and sobering experience for me, both personally and professionally. The skills I will learn as well as the practical knowledge of the working of such a hybrid court, I am sure, will allow me to make a meaningful contribution to my career.
So now I have a few weeks to get packed up and ready to move to Cambodia to join UNAKRT. A daunting but exhilarating prospect! Luckily, the cost of living is not too high in Phnom Penh, but I will need to cover my own travel costs from London, health insurance and utilities. I am reaching out in the hope that I can inspire others with my story, my motivation and dedication to make a change.
As work experience is notoriously unpaid, during all my time, including at Redress, AIRE Centre and Fair Trials, I undertook paid part time work to cover my cost of living. So I've worked as a cocktail waitress, shop assistant and child minder at the weekends and during the evenings, after my 9-5 working day. I have never been one to sit around and wait for opportunities to fall into my lap but have gone out of my way to create new learning and working experiences. In addition to gaining legal skills, I can now also balance a full tray of drinks through a crowded bar with ease, sell you a Christmas card in July and change a nappy one-handed!
I hope you have made it to the bottom of all this and found some inspiration in it!!